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NASS Assures On Speedy Review Of Electoral Amendment Bill

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The Senate has assured that it would expeditiously look into the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, refused assent to it after the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the bill.
This is as the expected amendments to the rejected electoral bill will be swift just as the document will be reintroduced to the House of Representatives, today, for a possible rework.
In his welcome address after the Christmas and New Year break, the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan said, “the Senate postponed discussions on the consideration of the response of Mr President on the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill to enable us consult with our counter parts in the House of Representatives and also consult with our constituents. Like we all know, the Senate and indeed the National Assembly worked so hard on the Bill. Having consulted, the Senate will expeditiously look into the issue.”
Lawan has taken a swipe at the country, saying that with the funding of the 2022 Budget that is presently predicated on significant borrowing, Nigeria as a country is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, adding, “funding of the 2022 Budget is predicated on significant borrowing. Our country is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. We have to construct and provide infrastructure, in all parts of our country because infrastructure is needed for our nation to develop.
“However, we do not generate enough revenues to fund the provision of such infrastructure. Until more revenues are generated, the country has to borrow and also resort to other sources of funding our infrastructural development.
“But we cannot continue to borrow endlessly. It is imperative that we need to improve on the revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio. At about 8% Revenue to GDP ratio, our country is basically at 50% of what is required of the revenue to GDP of 15% for it to support any significant economic development.”
Lawan, who also disclosed that the Senate wouldcommunicate the report of Constitution Review Committee to the State Houses of Assembly within the first quarter of this year, said, “the review of the 1999 Constitution is a major plank of our Legislature Agenda. Our Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution has done so much work so far. Working with their counter parts in the House of Representatives the report of the committee will be presented to the Senate for consideration soon. The Senate will consider the report and the National Assembly will communicate to the State Houses of Assembly within the first quarter of this year.”
The President of the Senate, who has reiterated his worry over the security challenges in the country, urged the Federal Government, the security agencies and other Nigerians to ensure that this year becomes the final in securing the country from the numerous security challenges.
Lawan said, “the security situation in our country is still dire. We must remain focused and determined to work with Executive arm of government, and also continue to support our Armed Forces and security agencies. We must continue to prioritize the security and welfare of our citizens as enshrined in our Constitution not despair.
“I urge us not to be discouraged by the situation. We should make this year as the year for the final securing of our nation from the numerous security challenges.”
Speaking further, Lawan said, “I welcome you back from our Christmas and New Year recess. I believe that the recess gave us the opportunity to celebrate the festivities with our families and loved ones.
“My distinguished colleagues, before we went on the recess, we considered and passed the Appropriation Bill on 22nd of December, 2021. That was the third consecutive time to pass the annual appropriation bill before end of year.
“The Bill was signed into law on 31st of December, 2021 by Mr President, to give the desired effect of starting the implementation of the budget from January, 2022.
“Distinguished colleagues, I once again commend the Senate, indeed the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government for working tirelessly to maintain the instituted January to December budget cycle.
“As we all know the oversight of the implementation of the budget is a critical function of the National Assembly. We must therefore strategise on effective oversight of the implementation of the 2022 budget. This is going to be the last budget that would be fully implemented for 12 months in the life of the Ninth Senate. We, therefore, need to supervise very closely.
“Distinguished colleagues, the Senate will develop a strategy of engagement with revenue generating agencies on how to make them achieve their targets and generate more revenues in 2022. The Senate will ensure that we boost their revenue generating drive with a view to reducing borrowing for development of our much needed infrastructure. This is a major challenge for our development and we need to treat as such.
“Distinguished colleagues, the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) 2021 was enacted with a view to providing better investments climate for better performance by the oil and gas industry. The Senate, therefore, need to seriously supervise the implementation of the PIA 2021. We must ensure that our country starts to benefit from the passage of the PIA.
“Distinguished colleagues, political activities leading to 2023 general election have already started. This Senate should continue to provide the support that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs for successful elections across the country.
“Distinguished colleagues, most of our colleagues will be running for various political offices in 2023. I wish all our distinguished colleagues easy victories and success at the polls.
“In conclusion, I thank all our distinguished colleagues for remaining focused and firm in our determination to deliver service to our country.”
Similarly, the expected amendments to the rejected electoral bill will be swift just as the document will be reintroduced to the House of Representatives, today, for a possible rework, the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has said.
The speaker, who made the disclosure in his address to welcome members of the House back from the 2021 Christmas holidays at the plenary, yesterday, added that the nation can’t afford to “throw the baby with the bath water” as far the electoral bill was concerned.
Gbajabiamila described as appalling the argument or submission that lack of proper membership registration of the political parties was amongst the reason for rejecting the bill.
It was that the argument even ran at variance with the spirit and letters of the Constitution of the land.
The speaker said that it was left for the House to either stick to their guns on the bill with regards to the direct primary mode or rework the bill and retransmit it to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
Meanwhile, the House has dissolved into an executive session.

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Fubara Summons Support To Sustain Wike’s Legacy

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) guber candidate, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, has sued for support towards sustaining Governor Nyesom Wike’s legacy in Rivers State.
Fubara made the assertion during his acceptance speech after the party’s primaries in which he emerged landslide winner at Obi Wali Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
The PDP guber flagbearer said his emergence was divine, hence the need for the party to give total support for victory in next year’s elections.
“We will work together to sustain the good things Governor Nyesom Wike has done”, Fubara declared.
Commending the sportsmanship displayed by his fellow aspirants, Fubara praised their zeal but reminded them that, “this is not victory for Fubara; but victory for the party and moving the state forward.”
The PDP flagbearer urged the aspirants to work with him to ensure the party’s victory next year.
On his part, the Governor Nyesom Wike said the victory of Fubara was the decision of the party members who voted, “this is how Almighty God has willed it.”
In his speech, the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked the aspirants in the primaries for abiding by the peoples’ decision, reminding them that, “loyalty is not easy but with what we have achieved, it’s difficult for the PDP to lose election in this state.”
The governor pleaded with all members to join forces to win the elections now that a candidate has emerged.
In the coming weeks, the governor hinted that a committee would be constituted towards uniting and mobilising for victory in the 2023 elections.

By: Kevin Nengia

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NYCN Hails Fubara’s Choice As Rivers PDP Guber Candidate

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The leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has hailed the emergence of Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election in Rivers State.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Chairman, NYCN, Chijioke Ihunwo congratulated Sim Fubara on his emergence as the candidate of PDP in Rivers State.
The statement read, “His Youthfulness, AmbIhunwo Chijioke, the chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter and South-South zone, has congratulated, Mr. Sim Fubara, on his victory as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in Rivers State, for the forthcoming Governorship election.
“The youth leader of Rivers State stated that the victory of Mr. Sim Fubara is a significant indication that the delegates of People’s Democratic Party appreciate his efforts in the party and trust that he has the capacity to unite and continue in the awesome works of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike.”
According to the youth chairman, “Mr. Sim Fubara’s victory is a resounding vote of confidence in his ability and leadership skills, which he has demonstrated while serving as the Accountant General of Rivers State, and also signifies that the People’s Democratic Party are committed to a democratic process.”
The number one youth leader, however, noted that “other aspirants and leaders of the party should unite and rally round Mr. Sim Fubara in the task of winning the Governorship election come 2023.
“Additionally, the chairman commended the leader of the party, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, for giving all aspirants a level playing ground and other leaders of the party for their efforts in making the primary election a peaceful one.
“The apex youth leader assured Mr. Sim Fubara that Rivers State youths, under his leadership will give him the needed support for him to emerge as the Executive Governor of the state”, the statement signed on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman on (Media & Publicity), Amadi Eze, last Wednesday, indicated.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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2023: Obuah Assures Fubara, PDP Of Total Support

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The former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, has congratulated the winner of the party’s governorship primary in the state, Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara for his emergence, describing his victory as the only clear choice of PDP in the state.
Obuah, who gave the assurance in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, also expressed his readiness to do all within his powers to ensure the emergence of Governor NyesomWike as the PDP Presidential flagbearer for the 2023 elections.
He said, “May I also use this singular opportunity to congratulate our party governorship flagbearer, my brother and friend, Hon. Siminialaye Fubara on your historic election. I wish you all the best and pledge my full support to ensure that our party again makes history by winning the governorship election in the state for three consecutive terms.
“As we celebrate the peaceful and successful governorship primary in Rivers State, we pray the good Lord also grant our mentor, leader, courageous and pragmatic Governor, Chief NyesomWike victory at the presidential primary.
“Once again, I pray that the good Lord will grant us the grace to forge on together as one united indivisible team and help us actualise our individual and collective aspirations under the leadership of our great party, PDP, irrespective of who occupies the driver’s seat”.
The statement read in full, “For some months now, we have witnessed a tense political atmosphere as our country, Nigeria plans to go through another transition in our democratic experiment which is hoped to come to a head with the 2023 general election.
“Consequently, there have been clamours among individuals and groups for certain persons including my humble self to come out as a prospective governorship aspirant in the state under the canopy of our great Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); somebody who has the capacity to sustain the great works and quality leadership of our brave and visionary Governor, Chief NyesomWike.
“The newspapers, the electronic and social media were all awash with such calls from all the nooks and crannies of the state, beckoning on me to just declare my interest.
“After some deep thought and wide consultations, I wholeheartedly accepted to run for the office of governor of Rivers State on the platform of PDP and also went ahead to obtain the nomination and interest forms in line with our party’s guidelines.
“This singular expression of interest gladdened the hearts of many of you, my ardent supporters within and outside the state.
“Even without my consent, many of you went on to campaign for me through the various sections of the mass media and other fora just for my sake.
“Sadly, that hope, that faith and joy may appear to have been dashed. This is the reason for this special message of hope and appreciation to all of you, my dearest friends, my supporters and my people.
“Let me first assure you that no hope is lost. The choice of who succeeds our dear governor is an exclusive party affair. This is what party loyalty is all about. It is not a personal affair.
“On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State Chapter has spoken and a governorship candidate has emerged.
“As a faithful, loyal and committed party man, and the immediate state chairman of the party under whose watch by the grace of God, the party won the governorship election in the state back to back in 2015 and 2019, respectively, I must abide by the decisions of the party at all times even when the decisions are at variance with my personal convictions.
“Accordingly, I decided to withdraw and not contest the governorship primary election in the interest of the party.
“I hereby submit and surrender to the decision of the party. Election is not, and should not be a do-or-die-affair. Moreso, power comes from God. I cannot be a party to anything that may obstruct the course of victory for our party both at the state and national levels, or cause disaffection among our party leadership and members.
“I, therefore, enjoin my faithful supporters across the state not to be dismayed or lose hope for where there is a will, there must be a way.
“I sincerely appeal to you to take every development about the governorship primary in the state in good faith. A renowned writer once said, ‘When hope is lost, when faith dies, the man is dead’.
“As long as we remain alive and trust in God, surely, there are better days ahead.
“I am a peacemaker and according to Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God’.
“I, once again, call for peace in the PDP and amongst my teeming supporters. United we stand, divided we fall. I thank you all for all your support my social media friends, journalists, Northern groups, Indigenes without Borders, youth groups, churches, Christian organizations, my own people of Omoku, Orashi region, all members of the PDP family across the state, my supporters outside the state, Team Felix Obuah in the 23 LGAs, Go-Round TV, Bro Felix Obuah (BFO) groups, Goround 23, Youth Earnestly Ask For Obuah, ONELGA Political Forum, OtuOzimini Age Grade of Ogba Kingdom, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, and many others.
“I am extremely grateful to the Oba of Ogbaland and Council of Chiefs, my stewards/cooks, drivers, my lovely wife and children for their understanding.
“I am also extending my appreciation to all those who signed my nomination form, management and staff of National Network newspaper, Goround Revolution Group, Rivers Women, Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), women and youths, my personal aides, my Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and others too numerous to mention.
“I also thank you for complying with my appeal to all my supporters via a press statement on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 ahead of the Governorship primary scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
“Following an insight, I was compelled to sue for calm amongst my numerous supporters across the state.
“That press statement, which was widely circulated, published on the electronic and print media as well as the social media was timely as it doused tension and pacified those who were already agitated.
“I also did mention in the statement that the party is supreme in all matters and I would stand by the decision of the party”, Obuah said.

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